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Photomatix 3.2

essay by Uwe Steinmueller


9/16/2009 Photomatix 3.2.3 released

Version 3.2.3 for Mac can be downloaded from here. (essential for Snow Leopard)

Version 3.2.3 for PC can be downloaded from here.

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7/13/2009 Photomatix 3.2 release version posted

The release versions can be downloaded from here.

7/1/2009 Initial Article

Photomatix 3.1 was out for a while (read our previous review). The new version 3.2 (right now as a public beta) introduces some important changes and improvements.

1. New Smoothing algorithm

Photomatix is famous for creating these painterly images. Although this is more related to the use of Photomatix Details Enhancer it was not really easy to get what some people call images with a more "photographic" look. Version 3.2 features a new Smoothing algorithm that we think makes it easier to get a less painterly look:

Of course Photomatix needed to preserve the old method for all the people that prefer the classic Photomatix look. This is what the option is designed for. It switches the Details Enhancer to the so called "Light mode":

We personally will most of the time use the new Smoothing method but it is always worth to check the old "Light mode" method out once in a while.

2. New Highlight and Shadow Smoothness behavior

While these sliders have the same name as in 3.1 they actually work much better now. We had a hard time getting these methods working in 3.1. The highlight corrections were too harsh. Now both are very helpful tools to avoid grayish clouds or muddy shadows.

3. New Preview Size Options

There were long time complaints that the Photomatix preview was different than the final result. That is why 3.2 restricts the preview sizes to certain ratios (e.g. 1. 1/2, 1/4, 1/8,..). To still low larger previews 3.2 added "Preview Magnifications" to better analyze the preview.

4. Multi Processor Utilization

In the past Photomatix only used a single processor. Now you the Version 3.2 can use at least for some operation more than one processor. There is also a new option that allows the user to limit the number of processors used:

This is for users that want to keep their machines more responsive if they also use other programs at the same time.

We find the speed improvement on our Mac Pro (4 cores) quite significant.

5. Improved Alignment

The method "Alignment by matching features" was improved and succeeds in more cases than before.


We find all the new improvements worth the upgrade (and it is still free for all existing users).




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